Malta Increases Film & TV Tax Rebates To Boost Location Destination Status

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 6:40am EDT

mfc_logoMalta has stood in for European and Middle Eastern countries in a plethora of films in its long history as a shooting destination. The Maltese government is looking to keep the momentum going, announcing today that it has substantially raised its tax rebates. The credit has been boosted to 25%, plus an extra 2% if Maltese cultural elements feature. The new incentive scheme, which is pending State Aid approval, has also been broadened to include international TV series, miniseries and animation. To access the rebates, productions must pass a cultural test that takes into account the use of local or European talent, storyline, settings, and other criteria. The cashback system is available for above- and below-the-line spend and is capped at 50% of the production budget. Post-production also can be claimed with a cap of 150,000 euros. European and other offshore countries have increasingly upped their incentives to attract foreign productions; most notably the UK which is now so attractive it’s having to turn shows away. Films have been shot in Malta dating back as far as 1925. More recently, it’s been host to 2000′s Gladiator, 2005′s Munich, 2012′s Kon-Tiki, and 2013′s World War Z and Captain Phillips. And, the Popeye village, famously built for Robert Altman’s 1980, film is still on offer as a set.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Denise O’Donoghue Exiting ITV Studios; BBC Three’s Zai Bennett Joining Sky Atlantic

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 1:00am EDT

Denise O’Donoghue Exiting As ITV Studios Managing Director
Denise O’Donoghue, a veteran television exec and four-year Managing Director of ITV Studios, is leaving the UK-based producer. She will exit at the end of the year with a successor yet to be named, though she will Denise ODonoghueremain a member of the board. ITV Studios is the largest commercial production company in the UK, with titles including Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Breathless and the upcoming Thunderbirds Are Go! The production arm of ITV is one of the biggest growth areas for the group, which has been busy making acquisitions in the UK and U.S. “A key part of our strategy is to build a strong international content business, creating more of our own programs which are successful here in the UK and internationally,” ITV Studios Managing Director Kevin Lygo said. “Denise has played a crucial role in rebuilding the UK production business by bringing in and managing brilliant creative talent, which in turn has resulted in the development of a strong and healthy content pipeline.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 12:24am EDT

Don’t let the title fool you: This ain’t no night in white satin with the Moody Blues. (It’s even spelled differently.) But if it’s action you crave, well, it’s got that. Here’s the final trailer for Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, wherein Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine goes back in time 50 years to alter history and prevent some really rotten stuff from happening. Butt-kicking ensues. The cast also includes James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy, Nicholas Hoult and plenty of others. Bryan Singer is back to direct his first film in the franchise since 2003′s X-Men 2, working from a script by Simon Kinberg. It opens May 23 — until then, enjoy:

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FX Pulling Out Of Late-Night For Now; John Landgraf On Strategy & Chelsea Handler

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 11:17pm EDT
Nellie Andreeva

fxlogo1__130919165223-200x110__131105211930At FX‘s upfront presentation last spring, Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell was a central piece as the late-night show was envisioned as a potential cornerstone for the new comedy-centric network FXX. But, facing stiff competition from broadcast and cable, the Chris Rock-produced show didn’t transition well to the new network after its solid original run on FX, leading to its cancellation. That followed the demise of FX’s other late-night effort, Brand X With Russell Brand. John Landgraf 2014 mugAt FX’s upfront presentation last week, there was no mention of late-night. Instead, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said announced that FX and FXX will be doubling their primetime original output from 11 to 20 series during the next year. That involves the relocation of resources to primetime as the network is retreating from late-night, at least for the foreseeable future. “There is less interest in late-night, and that is in part driven by the excellence in the arena,” Landgraf said last week, noting the success with young viewers of such cable hosts as Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and the recent shifts on the broadcast networks, including NBC’s highly rated new tandem of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, along with Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, soon to be joined by Colbert on CBS. “The late-night race is very competitive to get into,” Landgraf said. “You have to be willing to stay there as a very long investment.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘If I Stay’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 11:05pm EDT

Mia is young, talented and in love, with her whole life ahead of her. Until the car crash. With her family decimated, she lies comatose in a hospital — having an out-of-body experience. She watches as she’s told that living or dying “is all up to you; whatever fight you got in you, gotta pull it out now.” Then she gets a tour of what there is to live for. If I Stay stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the stricken teen along with Jamie Blackley and Mireille Enos. R.J. Cutler directs from a script by Shauna Cross based on Gayle Forman’s YA novel. The drama from Warner Bros, MGM and New Line opens August 22: Here’s a look:

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MTV Movie Awards Down Double Digits In Viewers & Demo From 2013

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 10:13pm EDT

MTV MOvie AwardsAbout 2.8 million people tuned in to Sunday’s Conan O’Brien-hosted MTV Movie Awards, a million fewer viewers (-27%) than last year’s show. The 2013 trophy show clocked 3.8 million total viewers — up compared to previous year’s 3.2 million even though big winner Jennifer Lawrence didn’t show up, and Parks And Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza got thrown out. Those who watched Sunday’s fan-voted awards saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire cop movie of the year, Mila Kunis hide her baby bump, Zac Efron lose his shirt and Mark Wahlberg score the MTV Generation Award — or, as he called it, the You’re Too Old To Come Back Award — and Eminem and Rihanna doing the TV debut of their hit “The Monster.”

Related: Oscar, Schmoscar: MTV Votes ‘Catching Fire’ Best Movie

Sunday’s show also was down by double digits in the network’s core 12-34 demographic, pulling a 2.6 compared with last year’s 3.4 — a 23% drop — and the previous year’s 2.8. In 2012, the MTV Movie Awards pulled in 3.2 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in 12-34. That had all been good news because 2012 was down a troubling 28% in the demo from the 2011 show. Additionally, last year’s show was up 45% among adults 18-34 and up 44% with adults 18-49 compared to ’12.

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‘Arrow’s Colton Haynes Joins ‘San Andreas’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:29pm EDT

Colton Haynes San AndreasNew Line has added Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf) to the cast of San Andreas. Haynes, who plays Roy Harper on the CW superhero show Arrow, joins Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario in the quake pic directed by Brad Peyton. Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson, and Wendy Jacobson are producing the film about an ex-Special Ops firefighter pilot (Johnson) who searches a devastated California for his estranged daughter after the Big One hits. Haynes’ credits include TV series Look, The Gates, and The Nine Lives of Chloe King. He’s repped by ICM and Podwall Entertainment.

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Sports Comedy ‘Blue Mountain State’ Seeking Movie Resurrection Via Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:14pm EDT

Blue Mountain State movie KickstarterSpike comedy series Blue Mountain State was cancelled in 2012 after three seasons, but a second life on Netflix and Hulu reinvigorated fan interest. Now the show’s creators are hoping to channel that demand into a big-screen film continuation with a Kickstarter campaign launched today. “We’ve seen fan activity on social media since the show ended and went on to Netflix, and we’ve seen the audience continue to grow through that platform,” said Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), who played high-strung All-American linebacker Thad Castle on the show and is aboard to produce the film project with co-creators Chris Romano and Eric Falconer. “When they find it on Netflix, they also find out it’s no longer airing on Spike or being made. A lot of them are asking for another season. We didn’t get our senior year and we want to do that.”

Ritchson, Romano and Falconer seek to raise a minimum of $1.5M to produce a Blue Mountain State movie based on the series, an idea that’s been brewing since Spike cancelled the show. Producer Lionsgate TV passed on doing a feature film but sold the rights back to Ritchson and company and retain a first-look option on the potential movie.

Taking a beloved TV series to the big screen through crowdfunding worked well for recent Kickstarter successes Veronica Mars, which raised $5.7M and opened day-and-date via Warner Bros last month, and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here, which raised $3.1M and opens July 18 through Focus Features. Both high-profile films, however, also encountered their own high-profile snafus. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 34: The Cannes Preview Podcast

By and | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:01pm EDT

Global Showbiz Watch ep 34In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom do the Cannes can, previewing this week’s announcements in Paris of the lineup for the Cannes Film Festival, including likely entries from usual suspects such as Atom Egoyan and DreamWorks Animation and less likely prospects for slow-to-arrive new projects from Terrence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson. Nancy and David also wrap up news out of last week’s Mip-TV market in Cannes, led by Keshet’s fast-selling reality formats and two hot programs out of Turkey. They finish up with their weekly peek at news and trends in the international box office, dominated abroad and in the United States by the debut of Rio 2 and the continued strength of fellow sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Meanwhile, Noah continues to sail along with another strong week. Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: WGN America’s ‘Salem’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 8:10pm EDT

“Precious Salem — caught up in the stinking witch panic.” Indeed. Here’s the loud and violent two-minute trailer for WGN America‘s first scripted series. The producers took some flak over the fuzzy math in its reinterpretation of the actual events of 1692, but what Salem imagines is simply this: The witches were real. And they were in charge. The series from Fox21 and creators Brannon Braga and Adam Simon premieres at 10 PM Sunday. Have a look — if you dare (evil laughter):

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UPDATE: All-Clear Given At Manhattan Beach Studios Following Bomb Threat; Nothing Found After 6-Hour Search

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 7:45pm EDT

UPDATED: A nearly daylongmanhattanbeachstudios search of the MBS Media Campus following a telephoned bomb threat has turned up nothing suspicious, police say. The threat was called in at 9:56 AM and dozens of employees were evacuated from the sprawling 25,000-square-foot facility in Manhattan Beach. Bomb-sniffing dogs along with officers from the Inglewood, Beverly Hills, LA Airport, and Beverly Hills police departments searched building-by-building, but nothing was found, police say. The search was completed by 4 PM. Formerly known as Raleigh Studios, the facility was previously the home of Marvel Studios. James Cameron’s Avatar sequels will be shooting there this summer.

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Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly Re-Team With Adam McKay On Sony’s ‘Border Guards’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 6:42pm EDT
Mike Fleming

stepEXCLUSIVE: After cranking out two big hit comedies in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Sony Pictures is back in business with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and John C. Reilly. The studio has closed a deal with Oscar-nominated In The Loop writer Jesse Armstrong to pen Border Guards. It’s a comedy that McKay is eyeing to direct, with Ferrell and Reilly playing two hapless but earnest friends who decide to give purpose to their lives by protecting America’s borders from illegal immigrants. In the process they find themselves accidentally stranded in Mexico without identification and must sneak back into the U.S. It’s only related to the previous films in that Ferrell and Reilly pair so well together.

tallaFerrell, McKay, and Kevin Messick are producing through Gary Sanchez Productions. Michael De Luca and Jonathan Kadin will oversee for Sony. The scribe, who’s repped by CAA, is a British comedy writer who with writing partner Sam Bain created the Channel 4 sitcoms Peep Show and Fresh Meat, and the Danny Boyle-directed series Babylon. Armstrong, who earned an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination for co-writing In The Loop, also scripted a biopic on Republican strategist Lee Atwater for Gary Sanchez with McKay attached to direct.  Ferrell is repped by CAA and Mosaic and John C. Reilly by WME and Framework.

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‘Land Ho!’ Co-Helmer Martha Stephens Signs With UTA

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 6:40pm EDT

martha stephensEXCLUSIVE: Writer-director Martha Stephens, whose road-trip comedy Land Ho! premiered at Sundance and was picked up by Sony Classics before the fest closed, has signed with UTA. Stephens (Pilgrim Song, Passenger Pigeons) collaborated with Aaron Katz (Cold Weather) to co-direct and co-write the film about two former brothers-in-law who go traveling on a youthful adventure through Iceland. Land Ho! is slated to be released July 11 and also screens at Tribeca this month and LA Film Fest in June. David Gordon Green is an exec producer alongside Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, and Wendy Ettinger of Gamechanger Films on the pic, which was produced by Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy, and Christina Jennings. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Who Is Dayani Cristal?’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 6:36pm EDT

EXCLUSIVE: Who Is Dayani Cristal? opened the World Cinema Documentary section at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and won that year’s cinematography award. Focusing on the death of migrant workers in the Sonora desert, the film follows a team from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona as they try to identify a man who died trying to enter the U.S. through that dangerous path. Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal investigates the life of the immigrant, known as Dayani Cristal, retracing the man’s harrowing journey along the migrant trail in Central America. Marc Silver directs. Bernal also produces with Lucas Ochoa and Thomas Benski. The pic is set to bow on April 25 in NYC and will expand nationwide in the following weeks. Check out the trailer:

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TV Land Gives Cast-Contingent Pilot Order To Comedy About Con Man Pretending To Be Gay Pastor

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 6:36pm EDT
Nellie Andreeva

vaneEXCLUSIVE: On the heels of picking up single-camera pilots Jennifer Falls and Younger to series, TV Land is adding another single-camera project to its pilot slate. The cable network has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Impastor, from veteran comedy writer Christopher Vane (Brickleberry). It centers on a low-life on the run from his debts who hides away in a small town by conning them into thinking he’s their newly hired gay pastor. ICM Partners-TVLand Logo 2012 Blue (with TM)repped Vane wrote the script and is executive producing alongside Eric and Kim Tannenbaum who exec produce through their CBS TV Studios-based Tannenbaum Co.

Related: 2014 TV Land Pilots

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UPDATE: Yahoo Stock Rises After Hours Following Q1 Sales Gains

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 6:15pm EDT

Yahoo_logonewUPDATE, 3:15 PM: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was bullish on the sales gains and talked up the company’s results in four key investment businesses: mobile, video, native and social, with 98% ad growth year over year. (Mayer said mobile was the most important of those pillars, by the way.) Alibaba, meanwhile, remained a hot topic after the Chinese e-commerce company reported 66% sales growth — a major catalyst on the sales side but still a bit of a mystery to U.S. investors who will get more of a peek under the hood once it starts trading on the NYSE. An institutional investor asked what Yahoo expects to do with the potential $12B windfall from an Alibaba IPO, and Mayer answered that the company would remain a “good steward of our capital.” No word on further original content deals, other than Mayer saying expect more of the same mix of deals between tuck-in and outright acquisitions.

PREVIOUS, 1:55 PM: Yahoo shares bumped up in after-hours trading after the Web giant reported its first sales gains in more than a year. The news comes as the company reported revenue of $1.09B during the quarter, better than the $1.08B analysts expected and up from $1.07B a year ago. Net income was $311.6M, down from $390.3M year-over-year. Profit came in at 38 cents a share, a penny better than estimates. The big reason for optimism though were the sales gains: the company said it … Read More »

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Liev Schreiber, Jaden Smith Set For Slavery Pic ‘The Good Lord Bird’ Adapted From James McBride Bestseller

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 5:37pm EDT

Liev Schreiber Good Lord Bird Jaden Smith Good Lord BirdEXCLUSIVE: Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid, After Earth) are set to star in The Good Lord Bird, a big-screen adaptation of the 2013 National Book Award winner by James McBride (Miracle At St. Anna, Red Hook Summer). McBride is aboard to produce the pic about The Good Lord Bird movieHenry “Onion” Shackleford (Smith), a young slave who links up with radical abolitionist John Brown (Schreiber) in 1856 Kansas and travels the nation with Brown’s motley crew of freedom fighters. Story is told with a satirical bent through the eyes of Onion, who wears a dress and is at first mistaken for a girl, as he bears witness to Brown’s historic campaign and encounters the likes of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman en route to the bloody Harper’s Ferry raid that helped spark the Civil War. McBride’s NY Times bestseller made Publishers Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year list and has drawn comparisons to Mark Twain’s classic novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Fifteen-year-old Smith is coming off a run of feature turns in Sony’s Karate Kid reboot with Jackie Chan and sci-fier After Earth, opposite dad Will Smith. He’s set to return for sequel Karate Kid 2, which hired Breck Eisner to helm last week. Read More »

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Jake Busey Joins History’s ‘Texas Rising’; Keegan Allen In ‘Final Exam’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 5:29pm EDT

Jake Busey has been cast in jakebusey1History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Busey will play the older brother of “Big Foot Wallace”, Samuel Wallace, who recites the legendary admonition “Remember the Alamo.” Busey, repped by TalentWorks and manager Steven Jensen, also can be seen in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn on El Rey Network.
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Paul Walker’s Brothers Jumping In To Help Finish ‘Fast & Furious 7′ Action Scenes

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 5:18pm EDT

The film’s official Facebook page unveiled that Paul Walker‘s brothers Caleb and Cody will help complete his action scenes on Universal’s Fast & Furious 7. The note says Walker had completed his dramatic work on the latest film in the lucrative franchise before he was killed in a car crash in November in Santa Clarita, CA. Universal postponed the original July 2014 release and pushed the sequel’s debut by nearly a year to April 10, 2015. Here’s the statement:

Paul Walker DeadA Note to the Fans of FAST & FURIOUS

The FAST & FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.

We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST & FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

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